The Second Coming ~ W.B. Yeats, Irish bard
Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;Surely the Second Coming is at hand.The Second Coming! Hardly are those words outWhen a vast image out of Spiritus MundiTroubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desertA shape with lion body and the head of a man,A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,Is moving its slow thighs, while all about itReel shadows of the indignant desert birds.The darkness drops again; but now I knowThat twenty centuries of stony sleepWere vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)
I fell in love with Yeats' poetry when I was in law school. Ten years after law school, I asked my mom to buy me Yeats' Collected Poems. When she didn't, I was shocked. Mom was wealthy and one book was a humble ask. When I asked her why she had not given me the gift I had asked for, after she had asked me what I wanted for Christmas from her, she waived her hand and said "Oh, I didn't think you were seriously." I actually cried when she made it clear that she had dismissed the possibility that I could care about poetry. Now I wonder if my mother ever got to enjoy poetry.
Yeats was Irish and, obviously, steeped in the Catholic/Christ born in Bethlehem myth. Look beyond the convention of the myth and feel the light and love for humanity in this poem.